Read-aloud: The first book we read in class was The Brand New Kid by Katie Couric (ISBN #9780385500302). The book was about a little boy who looked and acted a little different from the rest of the kids in school. Later on, a few girls start to play with him and show all of the other kid that he was just like them. Overall, I found the book to set a good example if I were to teach this in a classroom. It proved that everyone should be treated equally and would be able to motivate elementary school students, even kindergarteners. In class, the examples of using this book in a classroom included trying to figure out where the little boy moved from for geography purposes, calculating the distance from where we live and where the little boy’s home country and possibly listen to the music of his native country. It would be an example of global and cultural awareness.
The second book we read in class was an excerpt from the book My Losing Season by Pat Conroy (ISBN #9780553381900). The author explains what an influence his English teacher was for him in high school. He shows how a teacher can set an example and lead a student down the right path. We later discussed how a teacher is so important to how we think and how to be a better person. It was brought to our attention that we, high school students, have had up to sixty or more teachers in our public school careers. We talked about the teachers that we influential and what seemed like a greater total of teachers that made us feel a certain way that we were either stupid or less than we actually are. The boo was very influential and showed me that we are good people and should be treated in such a manner.
Learning Experiences: During our first week in Teacher Cadet class, we discussed our successes and self-esteem or self-worth. Besides learning the new procedures of the classroom, including our secret “buddies”, sending notes to boost ourselves on our lowest days, and fabulous food Fridays. We also read Self-Worth: The Pot Nobody Watches by Virginia Satir, Dr. William Purkey’s Overview of Self-Concept Theory and The Self-Esteem Fraud by Nina H. Shokraii. With theses readings we got to see the different points of views on the way self-concept and self-esteem is given in schools. We also learned about the two types of self-esteems, gobal and earned. Personally, I agree with the earned stand point. Besides our day long discussion, I also did Direction Connection with my best friend Ashley. I was able to help kids who had just a difficult time as I did on my first day of high school. Besides overwhelming feelings, getting lost in school was even worse but I was there to help these people (and apparently Dr. Meyers’ room is really difficult to get to).
Current Events: After looking up eduction news, I found the debate about year long or traditional school years. In the article, it states that four percent of all United States schools operate use year long or balanced school calendars. The reorganization of school dates cause smaller breaks but given two to three week “intermissions”. Reasoning behind this is to allow students a fresh way to learning and to be more prepared and active throughout the school year. However, the problem with changing calendars would cause drastic changes to curriculum. The change would be more of a hassle than anything else.
Quote of the Week: “The secret in education lies in respecting the student.” by Ralph Waldo Emerson. This quote is one that I found to be incredibly powerful, especially after our time reading the excerpt from The Losing Season by Pat Conroy. Respect. Respect was one of the main problems that I found with other teachers. Without this, I noticed that I would never learn anything substantial for the rest of the year. I knew I would hate being there everyday and would want to learn and urge for something else. Without motivation, what’s the point of sitting in a classroom?
Observations: During this last week, my lunch table was completely full but one girl was sharing a spot with another. So, I decided to go sit somewhere else. it turned out to be the foreign exchange student table or at least some of the newer kids.I realized how nice these people are and probably how they have way more interesting experienced than I do. This reminded me of The Brand New Kid by Katie Couric. We need to be accepting of people no matter where they come from, how they appear or the way they talk. Acceptance creates a better learning environment, one that is more engaging and comfortable, for all people.
Reflections: In the last week, many of my teachers have mentioned “senioritis”, how many students will continue throughout the school year and lose motivation. I don’t want that to happen to me. I want this year to show how valuable I am as a student for whatever college or university I go to. I want to be amazing at what I do. I need to keep my motivation FOR my future and as a major GOAL for this upcoming year.